Study Guide

Don Juan Kissing

By George Gordon Byron, 6th Baron Byron

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If there's one thing that Byron is willing to be serious about, it's the physical expression of love between a guy and a girl. In moments where two characters are kissing, Byron drops his satirical tone and gets pretty serious, saying: "A long, long kiss, a kiss of Youth, and Love,/ And beauty, all concentrating like rays/ Into one focus, kindled from above;/ Such kisses as belong to early days" (2.186). It's this kind of seriousness that actually makes a lot of readers sympathize with Byron. At the end of the day, Byron thinks of physical love as the opposite of hypocrisy. It might even be the most genuine thing two people can do in this world.

As Byron writes just a few lines later: "They had not spoken, but they felt allured,/ As if their souls and lips each other beckoned,/ Which, being joined, like swarming bees they clung—/ Their hearts the flowers from whence the honey sprung" (2.187). The super-emo language is still at its max, and Byron shows no signs of undercutting the romance. For him, people resisting sex is actually unnatural. Giving into something like a kiss is as innocent and honest a thing as they can do, and Byron wants to celebrate that fact.

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